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Seven Haiku, by Willie Perdomo


You check the forecast
Look for a southern fried mood
Cool hawks want to dap


Heaven sends a choice
I tell my ears to be still
A cardinal whistle


Get used to breathing
The first good slap of daylight
Sunlight stays alive


Tongue feels slow right now
Spring shadows hide and talk shit
A storm falls for you


So far, thank the gods,
These late replies remain safe
Stay on that ghost tip


Send me a signal
I miss the gangster in her
When I don’t get high


Hold her with both hands
Smart winds aim to grasp nothing
The sun’s yellow alarm


Note: These haiku are part of Big Other’s Puerto Rican Writers Folio: A Hauntology

  • Willie Perdomo is the author of Smoking Lovely: The Remix, The Crazy Bunch, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, and Where a Nickel Costs of Dime. Winner of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, the New York City Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN Open Book Award, Perdomo was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. He is co-editor of the anthology, Latínext, and his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, Washington Post, The Best American Poetry 2019, and African Voices. He is currently a Lucas Arts Literary Fellow, a core faculty member at VONA/Voices of our Nation Writing Workshop, and teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy.

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